Civil Air Patrol
  • Aircrew returing to base

Martin squadron cadet earns Civil Air Patrol’s highest cadet achievement

August 15, 2019 — MIDDLE RIVER, Md. – Civil Air Patrol Cadet Col. Wyatt Hartman, a member of Maryland Wing’s Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron, earned the highest achievement a cadet can earn, the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award.

On July 17, 2019, Hartman was awarded the Spaatz Award after successfully completing all requirements. The test is comprised of four parts: a written essay, physical fitness test and two written tests – leadership and aerospace education – each comprised of information learned from day one of a cadet’s membership. The cumulative test is controlled and conducted in coordination of the U.S. Air Force. Since the inception of the Spaatz Award for CAP cadets in 1964, only 2,243 cadets have earned the award. Cadets earning this award are promoted to cadet colonel.

Hartman joined Martin squadron in April 2011. He quickly excelled in all aspects of the cadet program, with a specific interest in emergency services and aerospace education. He earned his first milestone award, the Wright Brothers Award, in February 2012. He graduated from Kansas winter encampment in December 2012. He made his first encampment staff position in July 2013 as part of Tri-Wing Encampment in Md.

His second milestone award, the Gen. Billy Mitchell Award, was earned in April 2013. Earning this award made Hartman available for several CAP special activities that will shape the rest of his cadet career. In August 2014, he attended the Air Force Space Command Familiarization Course at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.

Hartman took an interest in our color guard, where cadets perform ceremonial duties during special events and compete yearly with other squadrons throughout the state. He led the color guard on many events spanning three years and has assisted with the next generation of cadets, earning them several awards during competition.

November 2014 saw Hartman earning milestone award three, the Amelia Earhart Award. The Earhart award is only earned by a small percentage of cadets that join the CAP program and allows cadets to apply to be part of the International Air Cadet Exchange, which he was later accepted to attend in 2018.

Hartman became interested in another national activity, Legislative Day, held every year in Washington, D.C. Cadets visit with members of their respective states’ congressional delegation, explain the missions of Civil Air Patrol and encourage members to support the missions. Over the next several years, Hartman has been a regular at this event, assisting CAP’s national commander as an aide for several years. In 2019, he was integral in the planning and organization of this high-level event, earning him a Commanders Commendation Award.

In June 2015, then-Cadet Capt. Hartman was selected to become the next cadet commander for Martin squadron. This duty assignment has cadets teaching, mentoring and supporting all levels of the program at the squadron and state level. After staffing another Tri-Wing Encampment in 2015, he also graduated from Middle East Region – Region Cadet Leadership School. This week-long training activity gives cadets the training they need to become leaders, both inside and outside of CAP.

“Hartman showed outstanding leadership potential,” said Lt. Col. ‘Roc’ Williams, Martin squadron commander in 2015. “We had no doubt he would excel and prove to be the strong leader we all saw in him.”

With flying one of Hartman’s passions, he applied and was selected for Maryland Wing’s 2016 Robert Ayres Memorial Flight Scholarship Program. The first part of this program, taken place over two weekends, begins a pilot’s journey with an extensive ground school, learning flight regulations, aircraft systems, navigation and basic flying procedures. A week-long event, that takes place in Hagerstown, Md., completes the training. Each cadet receives 10-15 hours of certified flight instruction. Hartman soloed in a Cessna 172 and passed his FAA private pilot written exam before the end of the week. In 2017, he received a full scholarship through CAP to spend part of the summer at Delaware State University, where he completed his private pilot rating.

Maj. Marty Sacks, Hartman’s first flight instructor, summarized the time they spent flying together. “I’ve had the privilege to be one of Wyatt’s flight instructors and he’s an impressive young person by any measure. I’m particularly impressed with his approach to his flying. He holds himself to a high standard and is always trying to improve his skills. An instructor couldn’t ask for a more teachable student. I expect big things from Wyatt over the length of his aviation career.”

In 2017, Hartman also completed the requirements and was presented his Eagle Scout Award, this highest award given to a Boy Scout.

In February 2018, Hartman earned the fourth and final milestone in the CAP cadet program, the Gen. Ira C. Eaker Award. Earning this award indicates completion of the entire cadet program. Later in 2018, he staffed his third Tri-Wing Encampment as a member of executive cadet staff. 2018 also brought Hartman a life-long experience, when he was selected to be a U.S. representative to the Netherlands as part of the International Air Cadet Exchange.

Hartman was selected as the Tri-Wing Encampment cadet commander in 2019, leading over 250 cadet students and staff for the week-long event.

Hartman has made other achievements as a cadet. He was awarded the Maryland Wing Cadet Junior Officer of the Year Award in 2016 and Cadet Officer of the Year Award in 2017. He has earned three Commanders Commendation awards for outstanding service to the CAP program.

The Spaatz award is named after Gen. Carl “Tooey” Spaatz, who was commander of Strategic Air Forces Europe in 1944 and became chief of staff of the new U.S. Air Force in 1947.

Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron meets every Thursday from 6:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Martin State Airport. For information on the squadron, including meeting address and contact information, visit Follow the squadron on Facebook at and on Twitter at

More than 1,500 CAP members serve in Maryland. Last year wing members flew 13 search and rescue missions. The wing was credited with four finds. Maryland Wing flew 32 missions for the State of Maryland. Members flew 2,245 hours in all mission categories. Volunteers contributed services estimated at $4.6 million. For more information, contact the Maryland Wing at or follow the wing on Facebook at

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit for more information.


Lt. Col. Christopher Roche, CAP
Public Affairs Officer, Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron

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